“Jump into the ocean and you will automatically learn to swim. Till the time you don’t take risk in life and learn yourself, you will never know how sweet or salty it will be. We should always give it our best, to know it ourselves. If you are a creator you can create anything out of nothing”
Brief introduction about yourself and tell us something about “Fellow Follow”?
I am very spontaneous and I do things to gain experiences as I love to learn everything on my own from the scratch. I have been working since the age of 18y. Technically I am not from a fashion background; I did my Masters in Public Relations and Marketing from Pune. I worked for 3 years in media industry, but my sincere interest in fashion grew immensely when I started styling and designing my friends outfits and then decided to explore the glamour industry.
Fellow Follow is six months young, in execution; it is an online/offline market place for artists, budding and global designers to showcase their creativity. We handpick each product/designs to give quality product to our valued followers. We also have dedicated section in our company blog (http://www.fellowfollow.in/Blogs/index.php) where we blog about inspiring stories, personal experiences, exotic and unique places, potential designers, artists and talents.
What ignited the spark in you to start “Fellow Follow”?
Honestly, it came like a dream one fine night and I came up with Fellow Follow, a platform where my passion, my profession (my education) and my creativity got life. We delivered best work to our dear ones and having the passion to give the best to others too, I decided to have my own startup so I invested all my savings accordingly. I worked on various projects for free to gain experience in a highly competitive city like Mumbai. I stayed at a friend’s place with broken laptop and phone to cut down expenses. I didn’t want to take money or loan from home because I wanted to test myself & my self-confidence. I use to stay awake all night for months researching and learning on every tiny details of the business. It brought a “spark” to my life; when I was going through the toughest phase, it came to me as a gateway to gather myself and look forward to further challenges in life.
How has been your journey been so far? Also, please share your future goals?
It’s been a very pleasant journey so far with lot of experiences and learning, both good and bad. I take it positively and am good with everything life teaches me on the go. I am glad that people are appreciating and noticing the work in such a short span, I am really happy.
We are starting “STYLE SPY” by Fellow Follow in three cities Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata. Style Spy is a Squad of talented, innovative and experienced young group of styling professionals, hair and makeup artists to add glamour to any person, event or project. We have on board prominent and well versed professionals proficient in their fields.
What all challenges did you face and what were your strategies to overcome them?
The biggest challenge was when Fellow Follow was starting in full force and I had already set up my base with my fellow colleagues in Mumbai, suddenly my mother went through two major heart surgeries and I had to shift back to Kolkata for good many months and later I had to start everything afresh as I was out of the city for 8 years.
But nevertheless, any business face challenges, and thus I am no exception. I took it as an opportunity and a challenge. Learnt the basics and worked harder for a jump start. And with God’s grace I got immense love and support from my Fellow Followers in Kolkata and was chosen as a young inspiring entrepreneur, to be a panelist at Edutainment Show felicitated by Prahlad Kakkar.
What are your views on the thought, that as compared to male counterparts, it’s harder and more struggling for females to make a mark professionally?
It’s certainly difficult for a woman to step ahead of men considering the physical attributes of a man because India is a male dominated country and women lack opportunities. But women are sharper and creative and can adapt easily to any given situation. Still it’s harder for women especially in India as they are bounder by social norms and culture. But now women empowerment is growing rapidly and hopefully things will get better in ratio in the future.
What piece of advice would you like to give to the aspiring youth who wish to pursue their dream of becoming an entrepreneur?
I always say “jump into the ocean and you will automatically learn to swim”. Till the time you don’t take risk in life and learn yourself, you will never know how sweet or salty it will be. Thus we should always give it our best, to know it ourselves. “If you are a creator you can create anything out of nothing”.
According to you, what are the top three essential skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Focus in your dreams, confidence in your potential and skills and execute what you plan
How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life? Has the family always been supportive?
My work has never affected my family in fact they feel immensely proud when they read and hear about me. My three sisters are excelling in their respective professions and have always set a benchmark for me to achieve, the way it has been taught to us by our grandparents. My mother is my life-force. She stood by my every decision without questioning and has been immensely supportive. Her faith in me kept me going strong and gave me tremendous courage to restart again.
What are your views and opinions towards the ambiguous need to promote women entrepreneurship and women empowerment in India?
Women in India have a lot of potential and are hardworking. Due to social responsibilities, lack of motivation and limited opportunities they don’t get the courage to come out of the social womb and be self-dependent. Thus it is utmost important that we bring out the zeal in every woman to flourish and explore themselves.